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Barclays pits China over India

July 23, 2007 16:45 IST

As a proposal to set up its own overseas investment arm gathers dust somewhere among the heap of files, India conceded further ground to another emerging Asian powerhouse China, which announced on Monday an investment worth up to $13.5 billion in UK's banking giant Barclays.

This comes within two months of China announcing an investment of $3 billion from its trillion-dollar forex kitty for a 10 per cent stake in the US-based global private equity giant Blackstone.

Along with China's investment in Barclays, which would be done through China Development Bank, Temasek Holdings, the investment arm of the Singapore government, has also agreed to invest up to about $5 billion in the British bank.

Both CDB, which is mainly engaged in domestic infrastructure investment by extending loans in support of government policies, and Temasek would become major shareholders in Barclays with a 7.7

and three per cent stakes each.

Part of their investment would be also used for the British bank's proposed $93-billion takeover of ABN Amro.

While Temasek has already created a niche for itself with a portfolio of over $80 billion spread across the world, including India, Singapore government also has a dedicated investment arm to manage its forex reserves in the name of General Investment Corp.

The suit has been followed by China as well, whose forex reserve investment agency invested $3 billion in global private equity giant Blackstone last month, thus getting exposure to various countries where the US-based PE powerhouse has assets worth about $14 billion, including some in India.

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